Is just a cheap device to lure unwitting Marvel fans to the site, really. But I am super-pumped(1) by the Avengers 2 trailer that was either leaked or put out by Marvel or something, but whateverthehell, it looked good.

But yes, the end of an era: the Age of Convention is over. 2014 has been a mad year for going places and doing stuff, as I’ve said in far too much detail already, and this weekend gone I capped it off with my first Bristolcon. For novice con-spotters, Bristol’s convention is a local gig, rather than the bigass national brouhahas like Eastercon, Fantasycon and, now, Nine Worlds. However, everything I’ve heard about it over the last few years suggested that it was a very enjoyable place to be, and that it was definitely On The Map for authors, and I can certainly give my thumbs up for that one. The superlative Emma Newman and Jon Courtenay Grimwood were author guests of honour this year, and both in fine form – Emma being interviewed by Gareth Powell was a particular highlight. I did a panel on steampunk in which, I rather recall, I got somewhat punchy and impassioned about Issues. Hmm. There was a good panel in writing the inhuman chaired by Peter Newman, and Jaine Fenn read out a superb little story which, I am told, is going to be in Fox Spirit’s Wicked Women antho, to which I’ve also contributed. I even got to sign some books. And, of course, it was a last chance for 2014 to catch up with some good friends – Ian Whates, LM Myles the Noted Dr Who Authority, Paul Cornell, Anne-Mhairi Simpson and a whole load of other people.

Next year will hopefully be heavy with cons as well, if only because I have Guns of the Dawn and Children of Time (4) out, two completely fresh starts that I will have to put the self-publicity hat on for, no matter how badly it fits. I will be at Eastercon and Nine Worlds and Fantasycon, and there’s a distinct possibility I might pitch up at Luxcon in Luxembourg as well. Another Bristolcon is a strong possibility, and, well… if you know of a con that is desperately lacking a large, bearded guy who won’t shut up about spiders, then do drop me a line by Facebook or in the comments.

(1) Is that a thing that young people say? Does it mean what I think? Answers on a postcard please. Or possibly by the telegraph.(2)

(2) Small ‘t’, not the newspaper. (3)

(3) You remember newspapers, right? They’re the things that they used to serve fish and chips in before the internet.

(4) Formerly touted as Portia’s Children.

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